Saturday, 13 December 2014

Recycled Xmas Trees ?

Ey up my faithful blogworms, more new things are happening at Milestone Towers this week.

Taking a sideways look at the kitchen market has always been our thing, so the germ of a new idea for a kitchen door was born.

How many times have you made your decision on your door style when looking at your new kitchen project and then taking absolutely ages to choose a handle that, even then, you're maybe not totally happy with ?

How many time have you looked at 'handleless' doors but didn't really want the flat slab appearance they usually have ?

That's where a bit of sideways thinking comes in !!

We've taken the most popular door style ie: a shaker door and combined it with the integrated handle idea and created ......

A Handleless Shaker Door ! ...simples !

 As far as we're aware it's never been done before so that's exactly the reason to have a go and make one.

From the idea to the creation, we all thought " It might look weird but let's have a go"

And, do you know, we think it looks brilliant and from folk we've shown it too so far, they think it looks brilliant too !

What do you think ?

It will fit perfectly into our Eco stable with several options for it's manufacture:

1) Made from Medite Ecologique, finished with Organic paints in any colour from the range.

2) Made from Sustainable Tulipwood and either finished with Organic paints or clear lacquered to keep the timber appearance.

3) We could also make it from our Eco Elite timber selections, natural finished in Oak, Walnut and Ash.

Not forgetting our ability to make any door, any size, there isn't a kitchen on the planet that couldn't benefit from such a revolutionary approach to door manufacture.

Another milestone from Milestone !!

Following the theme for this month and fast approaching the festive season, I bet we could even make it from recycled Christmas trees !! 

But what the hell would we do with several tons of pines needles afterwards ??

You heard it here first. Jules.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Just had to go for a PEA !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, This week it's something really, really special. Milestone, after slogging away for 8 years now on our environmental path ... have finally been recognised by winning a prestigious green award. 

The 2014 PEA Awards ( People Environment & Achievement ) have honoured us with a win in the Retail Category for our comprehensive stable of eco & sustainable kitchens, worktops & tiles making up our Milestone Eco Range of kitchens

We are so thrilled to have even been nominated, let alone win, in a Retail category who last years winner was the Co-op Organisation.

This is massive boost to our confidence and driving forward what we do within our industry.

The green market is a very difficult market to work in where we still feel that nowhere near enough people pay enough attention to environmental issues. We firmly believe in what we do as being the way forward for industry, nations and the planet as a whole. 

To receive awards for our work and the work of all the other winners, really makes us feel as if we are doing the right thing and we're not alone in that way of thinking. We just need to keep driving the message forward by doing what we do and keep developing new green ideas.

It's also, I feel, thanks in part to you, my faithful blogworms, reading the blogs that I post and taking an interest in the work we do that spurs us on to keep moving forwards knowing people do really care about green issues.

So, A BIG THANK YOU, to you all this week, keep reading and we'll keep doing, although I would appreciate all you lot out there sending me messages and voicing your opinions from time to time, to let me know where you would like to see us going next !!

A rather smug, Jules

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The carnival is over !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, this week is an appeal for your help. 

We created the only kitchen in Yorkshire in the appropriate colours to celebrate 'Le Tour Yorkshire' when the carnival that is the Tour de France came through our beautiful county.

This unique piece of kit, unfortunately, now has to be cleared for a new display coming in for 2015. Therefore it has to go !!

If you know someone who would like to own this unique set of kitchen units, say: a cycling club, a bike shop, someone who is a cycling enthusiast or even someone who could use it in their home or even garage / shed for some extra storage, we need to clear the space for a new display by Monday 1st December.

So it only has a few days left in our showroom, we need offers for it to go to a good home or, I'm afraid, it's going to end up in a skip which would be a hell of a shame.

Please have a look at this yourself and tell any of your friends who you think might be interested and let's see if we can give this kitchen a new lease of life.

I'm counting on ya ! Jules

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Refurbing 84 year old kitchens ..Eh ?

Ey up my faithful blogworms, this week is all about bespoke stuff and kitchen refurbishment.

Choose well, ask more questions and reap the benefits in the future.

I've said for many years now that when choosing new kitchens ask more about the cabinets than anything else as these are the hardest working part of the kitchen, next to the worktops.

If you buy well based on a good structure, ie: good well made cabinets, and get your layout spot-on then you will get much more life out of the kitchen you choose.

The kitchen shown here is one we originally supplied and fitted 12 years ago ( that's 84 in dog years ! ) in a totally different colour scheme ... Yes, I know, I should have taken before and after pictures rather than just showing 'after' pictures, I forgot .. OK ?

There are elements of it that were bespoke sizes to make it fit perfectly but after 12 years the style was looking a bit dated.

A refurb becomes the perfect answer because all the structure is still good and will last probably another 12 years .... and this is a rented apartment !! that usually takes more stick than a kitchen in a private house.

During this refurb we replaced: the worktops, the tiles, the doors, the handles and upgraded the lighting to the new COBB low energy lights I've mentioned before.

The doors are from a new range we've taken in that, in line with our policy on choices, allows us to spec bespoke sizes without paying silly premiums for the privilege and gives us a range of doors that even using bespoke sizes start from around £20 a door ... Yep, a miserly £20 ! 

Who says bespoke has to be expensive ?, we certainly don't ! as our regular followers will already know.

A good well chosen layout and structure is essential not only for your own benefit while owning the house but makes a positive selling point when selling your house and moving on.

This refurb was carried out at a fraction of the cost of the original kitchen, even based on prices from 12 years ago. 

Now I hope you can see the advantage in everything I've said and that it makes economic sense as also you don't have to spend on the usual stuff associated with a new kitchen like: wiring, flooring, decorating and plastering which alone saves you a significant amount on the cost.

Become a believer, make more informed choices, buy cleverer and cut down on waste by recycling the structure of your existing kitchen to ultimately save you a boatload of money. 

It's not rocket science, or is it ?


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Coffee Cup Campers

Ey up my faithful blogworms .... this week it's all unashamedly about campervans !  ... could be any campervans but specifically we're talking about the only true ones .. VW Type 2's.

The winter season is all about getting your bus ready for the coming year, essential repairs, style changes, finishing off restos', new interiors etc. etc.  It's the interiors I want to look at this week.

Would your ideal material for your surfaces be: 
a)  totally waterproof, 
b)  bacteria free, 
c)  easy to wipe, 
d)  easy to cut, 
e)  lighter in weight, 
f)  able to be polished to look like granite
g) 100% recycled & eco-friendly
h)  AND look drop dead gorgeous !

If the answer is YES  to all of the above, then Recycled Coffee Cup material is just what you're looking for !! and don't forget, all you guys out there with catering buses, it's perfect for Hygeine Regulations for food use as it was used for 'food' to start with.

As you will have noticed from an earlier blog, I have a stock of these very boards which I can afford generous discounts on at the moment. 

The board size is 2.1m x 1.1m x 12mm thick, which is exactly what the surfaces in the photo's are made from.

With this marvellous material, you'll never need to buy worktops, table tops or shelves for your bus ever again (unless you want to) as the material is endlessly re-polishable, never affected by damp and will last, probably as long as your bus will .. if looked after !

With every purchase of Coffee Cup, you will receive a full set of cutting & polishing instructions but I know some talented guys out there in the Dub world who have already achieved some fabulous results with the polishing of the material where you really can't tell it from granite ( and let's face it, you wouldn't use real granite in your bus, think of the suspension ! )

I can send out free samples 100mm square for you to check out the material and 'paid for' samples at 200mm square at £5 or 300mm square at £10 if you want to have a go at cutting & polishing it before you decide to buy ... and once you've seen the results .. trust me you will !

Just contact me through email: using the reference: Coffee Cup Campers or use any of the contact details on our website.

100% Recycled Coffee Cup .... What EVERY well dressed V-Dub bus is going to be wearing this coming season, so don't be left out ... contact me as soon as possible as I only have a finite amount of stock at these prices.

Once you've sorted your project, come over and let me know at shows this coming year. Look out for our bus Pandora, it's her interior I featured !! .... all the best, as always, Jules

Saturday, 18 October 2014

And the winner is .... Tarmac

Ey up my faithful blogworms, Recycled Roadstone plaques this week.

We know from previous blogs that these have captured your imagination with our classic vehicle plaques and wedding picture plaques alongside their original purpose of splashbacks for your kitchen and bathroom.

BUT ... We're looking to move in new directions with them !!

There are many award ceremonies out there and focussing on the ones that cover Eco products and businesses, we are now in a position to design award winners plaques / trophies, however you want to describe them. 

We can use your logos, emblems etc providing they can be supplied electronically in a hi- resolution to make an extremely unique, totally recycled product award.

I'm absolutely certain this would give your awards the edge by the winners receiving the very first prize made from Tarmac .. a material we all take for granted and drive on every day of our lives !!

We would be happy to look at any design whether totally made from recycled roadstone or  incorporating other recycled materials within the design, such as recycled coffee cup or yoghurt pot material.

Not just restricted to the UK market, there is no reason whatsoever that we can't cover pretty much any country worldwide! 

So, if this idea sets your creative juices flowing, contact us by email, phone, fax, snail mail, carrier pigeon or whatever method you like .. most of the previous list of contact details are on our website: ( except carrier pigeon, you'll have to use your own but don't worry we'll look after it. )

And the winner is ?


Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Best green deal just got greener !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, even better news following my OMG, BRG titled blog, we've looked at the recycled boards that we have in stock now and come up with a fantastically competitive price list for both the Coffee cup and Yoghurt pot boards.

Below is a copy of our price list for the stock with a massive 50% discount in some cases. These are quite definitely "never to be repeated" prices and I imagine they won't hang around long. If you are looking to use a recycled material for part of your project then have a serious think about these little beauties, totally waterproof, easy to clean and re-finish, easy to cut to shapes difficult with other materials, the material is totally recycled, 100% solid all the way through not some thin veneer or cladding that will split or crack.

There's never been a better time to think green as part of your next home project, Contact me for individual board quantities and don't forget ..... If you aren't confident you can work the material .... we can cut & polish for you. Delivery to anywhere mainland UK can easily be arranged.

Give us a call. Jules

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Small but perfectly formed for a tenner !

 Ey up my faithful blogworms, Sorry my blogs are a bit sporadic at the moment. As we're working away a lot installing our fabulous Eco kitchens all over the place, I'm not at Milestone H.Q. much. 
However, things calming down a bit on the nationwide front with more local work happening now so I should be with you more regularly.

This week, coming from our ability to create custom sized units at will, I thought I would focus on Small Space Kitchens.

Two examples of which are shown in the pics this week.

Working in a small space provides challenges every bit as much as planning large kitchens but everything needs to be thought about in much more detail. The two kitchens shown hardly have a standard sized unit in either but you wouldn't automatically notice as the size changes are subtle and just enough to make everything fit really well.

The top kitchen is only a little over 5ft deep (1500mm) x 6ft 6" wide (1950mm), a miniscule 32.5 sq.ft of space with only 1 door into it and surprisingly has: oven, hob, extractor, 2 cutlery drawers, dishwasher, fridge, sink and microwave, loads of shelving and some wall units. 

It's location is in a small seaside cottage, really quaint & cosy and just big enough for a couple to live in comfortably. You sort of look into it and think tiny kitchen, not great, but actually when you study it everything is there that you could possibly want to function in such a small space.

The second kitchen is in a space a touch under 8ft ( 2360mm) x 4ft (1220mm) a similar space of just under 32 sq.ft but it has 3 doorways, 1 into it, 1 to outside and 1 into the cellar. 

In here we've managed to get an oven, hob, fridge, sink with drainer and a worktop dresser unit to provide drawers for cutlery. Using reduced depth and resized units we've managed to provide more dry goods storage on the opposite wall next to the radiator. 

This kitchen's in a tidy little two up, two down terrace house where we were able to locate a washing machine in the cellar using a Sanivite unit to pump the waste water back upstairs and outside into the drains, keeping the noisy machine out of the kitchen and putting in the stuff you need to function.

Again, hardly a standard unit in the room but the size changes are so subtle it you don't immediately notice them. The corner sink base unit was a particular challenge with a new an inventive way of joining the worktops together without compromising the joint.

Both are great examples of how, with a bit more thought and clever design can make a good workable kitchen in a space where you took one look at it and thought  ..... "You want what ?" " in there ?" "You must be joking !"

Milestone at our best .. thinking more and creating wisely the optimum units for the optimum space and use. Bespoke done the way it should be !

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, a dimension change only costs a measly tenner,  £10 !! and makes hundreds of pounds worth of difference to the design, fit and workability of your finished kitchen, created by those wonderfully inventive people at Milestone.

George Clark .... We can make spaces amazing aswell !!

See you next time. Jules

Saturday, 13 September 2014

OMG ! BRG ! ....Brilliant Recycled Bargains

Ey up my faithful blogworms. Exciting news this week for all you eco warriors out there !

 Do you all remember our K.O.R.C Kitchen, which was the first one ever created entirely from recycled materials ? 

The doors are made from recycled Yoghurt pot and the worktops from recycled vending machine coffee cups.

Well ..... Great news, these products have been in short supply recently as our supplier has gone bust .................................. 

AND we've bought up all the remaining stock ...... 33 boards in all, some yoghurt pot, some coffee cup, in various thicknesses and are offering these at a substantial discount to clear.

 Priced at around 35% off, we don't think they'll hang around for long, we can supply boards uncut, 'off the shelf' or we offer a cut and polish service if you prefer.

 One of the thicknessess we have in stock is 12mm which is absolutely ideal for campervan surfaces and table tops, saving weight, totally waterproof, not affected therefore by damp conditions and can be re-polished as often as you like. The perfect material for "all weather" camping conditions.

More mainstream, these products are absolutely fantastic for kitchen worktops, desk tops, table tops, shelving and splashbacks ( although not behind hobs ) offering an infinitely re-polishable surface that will last for years and be able to be recycled again after use.

Even though our supplier has gone bust, the actual manufacturer is still very much in business and we are entering into discussions to buy direct and save you money long term over the prices we were able to offer previously.

So great news short term at our "never to be repeated discounts" to clear stock but lower prices long term mean good news all round !!

Do contact as soon as possible for details of particular boards as, once again, there's a limited stock at these prices and when they're gone, they're gone.

Either message us through the blog, 


or contact us through twitter: @ecokitchens

I just love being able to offer a genuine bargain. Jules

Saturday, 30 August 2014

A little bit of Victoria, reclaimed !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, Holidays still been getting in the way of my blogging but finished now and it's back to concentrating on bringing you lots of new stuff to ponder.

We seemed to have tapped into a seam of interest amongst you all with the retro concept in the kitchens, shown left, so I thought I'd bring you retro in a different style from a bathroom we made a while ago

This time it's Victorian style, fitting in perfectly with a period house built around that time.

Our brief was to create something to give the right period feel to a new bathroom that was being installed.

We used the same reclaimed Pitch Pine that we built our Reclaimed Madness Kitchen with ( see earlier blog and follow our website link to my pinterest page for more details )

Picking up on the old fashioned "ledge & brace" door idea which we'd never tried until the Reclaimed kitchen came along, we've used it here in these bathroom units to good effect. 

The idea was to try and make the units look 'free standing' and self contained, taking our styling cues from the old Victorian wash stand concept.

And of course, no Victorian wash stand would be complete without a white and grey Carrera marble top !

Many of the ones I've seen had the upstand surround built into the frame of the unit but we decided to do it a little different ( like you do ! )

The upstand was made in a Victorian fashion for the authentic look and we drilled dowels into the underside of the wood and glued them in, then drilling the marble to provide location holes to sit the upstand into.  

Bit of timber left over, made into a tealight candle holder to complete the image and 'Bobs your Uncle ' as they say.

 We really would appreciate your comments and feedback on the various retro themes that we're now looking to work with, sometimes it does feel like I'm talking to myself although I see from the stats that our followers are increasing, let me know your thoughts !

I would like to feel a bit more connected to you, our faithful blogworms, and get to know more about the sorts of things that you like and would like to see being made.

The sceptic in me thinks that you are thinking, " I'm not making any comments because all they want is my details so they can bombard me with offers, adverts and deals that I probably don't want "

This is genuinely not the case, it's simply that we would love to know what you all think, to give us food for thought and work towards projects that people like yourselves out in the blogosphere would like to see on the market.

We promise !!


You can follow us on twitter: @ecokitchens and comment there.

Email us: or contact us through our website.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Peace, Love & Grandmas kitchen

Ey up, my faithful blogworms. 

Holiday season is still getting in the way and we seem to be getting busier with projects around the country which is taking me away from base quite a bit at the moment. Unfortunately this means my blogs are a bit less frequent than I'd like.

However, Ferretting around the market, there does seem to be a bit of a increase in folk looking for good retro 50's & 60's colours and inspiration. They do say " What goes around, comes around" and it's beginning to look like that's starting about now .

Last blog I was looking at the strong, single bold colours but we've been experimenting with retro lookalike furntiture for a while now and the units you see pictured are various stages of our developments. From our protoype, shown left, through to the complete unit with handles below and ultimately a complete kitchen.

 Colour choice is entirely upto you, we make to order. Sizes are no problem with them being custom built and essentially these are free standing units so would require choices of free standing appliances to create the full retro effect. 

 We can, as you can see, use built in appliances but somehow, we feel, that the full effect is better achieved without. 

We can supply any freestanding appliances you may need or simply supply the kitchen with the necessary gaps in the plan to slot your pieces in.

 If you prefer, as with all our products, we can also do the install work for you.

Recently we found these fab retro laminates from a range made by Formica which really do put the crowning glory onto any retro project. Lets face it, in the UK anyway, Formica were the guys that started it all those years ago so it's appropriate that their worktops can be used once more the thick end of 50 years later.

These examples shown here are just a few of what's available to give you a taster, there are too many to show here but we can provide samples if you require. So, Peace, Man and consider all that's fab and groovy from times gone by and I bet you're now wishing that your Grandma hadn't thrown her old kitchen out and you could have restored it.

But never fear, Milestones here, helping you to recreate those fab kitchens that you new when you were growing up, a bit like me really !

We would also be very happy to re-create kitchens like this for film sets, period drama programmes and the like because originals must now be getting extremely thin on the ground that are fit to use.

Release your inner Hippy in this years long hot summer of love and give us a call !!

Groovy Baby. Jules

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Glorious techicolour but no avocados !

Ey up, my faithful blogworms, Sorry it's been a bit quiet lately but we've been working away from base and the holiday season is upon us, you know what it's like ! 

But here we are back again and firing on all 4 cylinders ( or electric motor, if you're of the Hybrid persuasion )

We had much excitement and jollity on the day of the massive event for Yorkshire that was the Tour de France or " Le Tour Yorkshire ", if you prefer. Finally we got the chance to show off our wonderful county the the rest of the world and it seems that we made a good impression .... about time too !! We don't call it " Gods own county" for nothing, you know.

Anyway, we made, probably, the only kitchen in the whole of Yorkshire in the colours of the "Tour" in honour of the event and it's now for sale ! We need to clear it now for new displays to go in, so if you're interested in this unique souvenir of the great event please contact on the email and we'll see if we can find it a new home.

However, what this does is give me a chance to introduce the brand new range of decors for our Eco kitchens where we got these colours from.

The range includes bold colours such as: 

Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, White, Purple, Black, Brown  and a range of naturals and neutrals in many different & subtle shades, opening up a fantastic palette to play with for creation of striking and interesting Eco kitchens.

Not to be ignored is now the possibility of using an Eco range of materials in these single colours for corporate furniture, desks, shelf units etc, etc. 

Stimulating colours for kids bedrooms as, don't forget, we do make Eco bedroom furniture aswell !

In theory ........ if you're a passionate football fan, you could probably actually have your brand new Eco kitchen, bedroom or office made in your team colours ..... how mad would that be ??

We are also noticing trends developing in the retro market for vintage clothing, furniture, paint colours etc. generally and we feel that many of these colours will fit right in. 

For those of you in the UK old enough to remember the infamous avocado green bathroom suites ....... we promise that that colour is DEFINITELY NOT included in the range !!

Retro is great but certain colours should be left buried back in their time and that's one of them !

We can gesamples ( that's enough of that ) of all colours, so if this concept floats your boat, and why wouldn't it ! , let us know and we can sort you someting out, contact as usual via the email.

Feeling colourful, Jules

Saturday, 14 June 2014

The ultimate dining table and a balaclava !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, 

We talk lots about kitchens so, I thought this week I'd share with you a brilliant concept for complementary dining tables that I've made to go with them.

 Still, in kitchens, granite is probably the most durable, effective & heatproof of all worktops but why limit it the just the kitchen.

We carry out many projects where we open up dining rooms into kitchens to create a fantastic through space where it becomes the social hub of the home. As a result, you do need to concentrate on making 2 become 1 when considering the decor.

Many people then spend loads of time trying to find a dining table that works with the kitchen furniture. 

My idea was to make a table that has a central granite panel to allow you to put hot pans and dishes straight onto it, serving your family or guests straight from the pan while hot !! Much more sociable in the sharing of food, much more practical in terms of cutting down on washing up etc. of loads of unecessary serving dishes and it protects your table from annoying scratches without covering the table first.

I've never understood the principle of buying a fabulous new dining table only to cover it up with a cloth so you can't see it because you're scared to death of marking it. Totally  pointless !!

The top picture here shows a table that we specifically made from scratch to go with an Oak and Baltic Brown granite kitchen, so we can save you loads of time and stress by actually making your table to match !!

The second picture shows an Oak dining table that had already been bought for a kitchen so we modified it to take the central Bon Accord granite panel to match the kitchen.

Making, in our minds, the ultimate dining table that ticks all the boxes you want to tick. So whether you already have your table or want one making to match, don't leave out your humble dining table out when thinking about your new kitchen project, we have a couple of ways of getting you the table you really want.

We can also take any timber table you may already have a insert a granite panel into it, if you just love the idea and want one creating to go with the kitchen you've already got. 

After all, you wouldn't spend a small fortune on new hair-do and then spend all day wearing a balaclava ........ WOULD YOU ?

A bit more creative thinking ...... Jules.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Le Tour Milestone !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, we are less than a month away from the biggest thing to hit our wonderful county of Yorkshire  ......... I, of course, refer to :

Le Grand Depart ..... Le Tour Yorkshire, the beginning of this years Tour de France

Starting in Leeds City Centre and roaming around our beautiful county over the weekend of 5 - 6 th July

For all you fanatic bikelists, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this massive event in our local area.

If you've looked at our website:  lately then you'll know that we are based smack on the Le Tour route, the main A65 through town, and the cavalcade and competitors are due to pass our very door front from about 10.30 am onwards on Saturday 5th July.

We will, of course, be open on the Saturday and would like to invite you, our faithful blogworms, to join us on the day for a fantastic vantage point of this spectacular event. 

We have created a very special range of Le Tour Milestone kitchen units which will be showing off in our showroom window very shortly, ....... watch this space !!

We will be offering light snacks, teas, coffees throughout the day with a warm dry viewing point if the weathers not so good, a place to sit down for a bit and toilet facilities at your disposal.

All we ask in return for this invitation and to book your space, is that you give us a donation to our favourite charity " Guide dogs for the Disabled" via a box in the showroom. It's up to you how much !.

Places will be limited so do let us know via our email: if you would like a place just so we can keep a check of numbers.

Hoping to see you on the big day !! ..... Jules

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Top Tips to change the way you think

Ey up, my faithful blogworms, 

It's TOP TIPS time again.

3 sets of top tips this week following conversations I've been having with our customers over the last few weeks. You can choose to use or completely ignore these tips but I would say that 90% of people we talk to have used and loved the results achieved.

# First Top Tip

When planning any room that involves fitted furniture ie: kitchens, bedrooms and sometimes bathrooms, sticking to 3 colours ( one of which can be your metals if you want ) for the entire concept gives a feel of coherency and completeness without getting visually messy. The furniture should be the feature of the room and chosen well, use the colours to complement it not shout at it !

You can, however, for one of your colours, use differing shades of the that colour and if chosen carefully, it can work well.

 If you start using more than 3 colours, when you walk into the room you really don't know what to look at first, your eyes are all over the place and the room totally loses it's focus. This destroys any wow factor you may have created and just makes the room a place you want to get out of quickly and not a place you'd enjoy being.

FORGET feature walls ! these are a stupid idea in a kitchen !  The kitchen should be the feature and anything that detracts from that is a pointless waste of time and effort.

# Top Tip 2

When using built in furniture that has countertops, worksurfaces etc use a principle of blending verticals and blending horizontals to create harmony.

Choose your furniture first in terms of cabinets and tops putting some contrast in between the two, these are your priority. Using your chosen worktop colour then blend the floor covering with it. I use the word blend deliberately as they don't have to match but need a tangible link to pull them together.
Once you've sorted that, then using the blending theory, apply it to the vertical surfaces. These two principles together give a good platform to base everything else on. Certainly kitchens where these apply look much, much better in their overall look and just look right.

If you've ever looked at someones kitchen where they've got this wrong, the kitchen probably looks nice but something in your mind is telling you that somethings wrong even if you can't put your finger on it. This is why !

For example: where the floor is a similar colour or tone to the doors, it looks like the units have sort of frayed into the floor and it becomes indistinct and vague, this can look weird and is the bit that's not right, particularly if there are dark worktops accentuating the problem.

So, blend verticals with each other and blend horizontals with each other and irrespective of your colour choices, usually it looks spot on.

# Top Tip 3

This one is where wall colour can make a room really feel like a nice place to be, I suppose that's stating the obvious but consider a twist !

To really give the room a cosy feel, ignore most peoples conditioning where you always paint the ceiling white ! White ceilings are for people with no courage and imagination !! ( unless, of course, you're painting the whole room white anyway ! )

This works best where you are decorating with pale to mid colours and paint the walls and the ceiling with the same colour !  
Trust me ...... with the right colours this looks absolutely stunning and really makes the room feel cosy, warm and a nice place to be ! 

90% or more of people we've suggested this to have done and love it and admitted that it's something they would never have thought of trying.

You've got nothing to lose cos if you don't like it, repaint it white but at least be brave enough to try it first.

There ya go 3 top tips that always work, experiment, open your mind, follow these simple principles and you will be surprised at the difference it makes to your life.

And I pass all these tips on for free ..... I must be mad !

Jules, see ya next time.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Trumpet blowing is thirsty work !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, 

Big week coming up for us this week, the H & M Head office kitchen is ready to deliver. H & M are one of the most eco conscious companies we've come across and really do get our full support. If you're not currently an H & M customer, you really should look at what they can offer !!

This is quite a big kitchen and they're materials / appliances choices have been made sensibly and sympathetically to eco issues. 

Our strength in projects of this type lies in our ability to put together the full project as a "one stop shop" and by careful communication with the customers specifiers, we can ensure that no parts are missed, everything arrives as planned and we make absolutely certain by careful checking that every single piece required from us arrives in one go, complete and has all the detailed plans with it that you need to assemble the project successfully.

More often than not, the customers own contractors are doing the installation work so, when the job is delivered I carry a full set of plans with me, wherever I am and give the project manager my own mobile number so I can answer any questions that may arise immediately.

On this particular project there are also 2 coffee stations required with a request for quick throughput commercial glass and dishwashers, which aren't the prettiest things to have on display in a stylish office environment but are needed for fast turn round of plates, cups & glasses between meetings.

By careful and thorough design, we have been able to design housings / cabinets around them to incorporate them seamlessly into the overall layout and by providing the detailed sketches ( seen left ) that we designed them to, then any contractor should be able to build them exactly as they were designed.

Projects like this for company head offices need to tick so many more boxes than normal domestic kitchens, they are often quite involved in their design and clever design brought about by thinking outside the box is what we're bloody good at. These are the things that we can really get our teeth into and provide solutions not normally available using standard kitchen units.

I did a blog a bit since that put definition to our way of doing " bespoke" and the way we look at it, this project is a really good example of that level of thinking.

It doesn't matter whether you're looking for a large corporate project or a well fitting kitchen for your home. Everyone gets the same level of committment from the work we do and the best quality at the best price. If you read my blog last week, you'll know that poor quality, badly thought out really winds me up. There's only one way to do a job ..... and that's correctly !!

We've always said ..... " the answer's Yes ! ..... now what's the question.  If you want it and can imagine it, we can make it, ... no exceptions !

Phew .... Blowing your own trumpet is thirsty work, I'm off to make a cup of tea. We'll talk soon, I'm sure. You know where we are ..... Don't be shy.


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Caveat Emptor (with a back up plan)

Ey up, my faithful blogworms, really busy at the moment and struggling to keep pace with all my computer stuff but this weeks blog is a cautionary tale for all you purchasers of new homes and apartments in converted old buildings.

Stating the screamingly obvious, you wouldn't employ an accountant to fix your roof any more than you would employ a tree feller to decorate your house !!

This becomes important when looking at new builds where builders have fitted your kitchen, builders build they don't fit kitchens ..... or they do .... but not well.

I must stress that not all builders are like this, but the frequency with which we see this is on the increase as corners are cut in the current economic climate and the only people who lose out are you, the house buying public.

It's been our experience this last two weeks where , what should have been a simple refurb of a fairly new kitchen in a old converted building, has turned into a fault finding excercise putting things right that shouldn't have been done wrong in the first place.

This makes our job more difficult, take longer and as a result, cost more than it should.


1) A badly butchered sink base where the corner structure had been cut away and not reshaped to put the strength back leading to a wobbly cabinet, which wasn't fastened the wall anywhere making the problem worse.

2) Where the sink base had been cut round some soil pipe boxing in the corner all the fibre glass insulation they'd used to lag the soil pipe was falling into the sink base .... nice ! ... that makes your rubber gloves itchy when you put them on to wash up !

3) Washing machine and dishwasher waste pipes laid on the floor and taken up into the sink waste without the correct uphill loop of pipe that makes the pump work properly  .....shortening the life of your appliances.

3) The old favourite ..... this is a kitchen .... you need as many electrical sockets as possible, for all your small appliances, it gets very irritating when you've got to unplug the toaster to put the kettle on !, as usual this installation was sadly lacking.

4) The wall boiler has a wall cabinet around it where so much of the structure was cut away that you might aswell have just stuck a kitchen unit door directly onto the boiler with magnets. ....  design it better to have a wider cabinet, you muppet !

5) An outside tap was fitted to use a hose pipe outside, nice touch you'd think but not good when it doesn't have an isolator fitted to it so you can turn it off in winter ..... that'll be an insurance claim for frozen / burst pipes then ??

6) Fitting new doors to the fridge / freezer housing was a giggle, on most fridge / freezer units there is a natural gap down the hinge side to allow the doors to work properly but when the gap we found was 24mm at the top, tapering down to 18mm at the bottom, then it appears the original fitter couldn't read a tape measure either ! This has pushed the housing out of square, no wonder the doors looked wrong when we got there causing an extra 2 or 3 hours to straighten it all back out again.

7) And the one that always upsets me when I see it ..... not only were the cabinets not fastened to the wall but the worktops weren't fastened to the cabinets either ..... this is stupid ! pure laziness, bad practice and if any fitter we employed fitted kitchens this way, I'd sack him on the spot !!!!!  The rigidity of any kitchen ( and it's longevity ) is totally dependant on everything being fastened to the walls and units fastened together .... if not it's doors drop, cabinets twist, go out of square and generally fall to bits long before they should. 

Please take more care when looking at your new dream home in case parts of it turn into a nightmare !

Open doors, look in, test things, poke and prod things until you're happy, this is your hard earned cash you're spending ! 

We are always willing to go out and do an 'MOT' on a kitchen if you feel something's not as it should be. 

So, help is at hand if you have any doubts at all .  Choose wisely, 'Caveat Emptor' (Buyer beware) .... all that glitters is not necessarily gold !

Your kitchen crusader, Jules.